What will houses in the future look like?

1. Real Life Situation

Uma has just started in my class at school. They moved here from a long way away, so his parents had to buy a new house for the whole family and their dog to live in.

I am going over to play at Uma’s house later, I wonder what his house will be like. Mine is quite small and I have to share a room with my brother, he leaves his stuff lying all over the floor. In winter it gets really cold and I have to wear my pullover indoors, mummy says it is better to wear a pullover than turn up the heating. Uma was very surprised when I said I wear a pullover inside because his house is so warm.

The best thing about my house is the back garden. I have a great den at the bottom made from lots of things I have found. The shed has all my dads tools in for looking after the garden where we grow lots of flowers, but also food to eat.

Uma said his house is brand new, and has lots of gadgets. Everyone has their own room and they have a huge garden. Uma says the energy comes from the sun!

If I move house I am going to tell my parents exactly what I want it to be like and where I want it to be! It will definitely have a room of my own!

2. Introduction

b5 image 1This quest will investigate housing in the future we will think about what pressures it faces and how these pressures will impact on future houses.





3. Task

To draw your ideal house
To consider what your family’s ideal house would be.
To understand what materials are necessary for insulation
To build your ideal house and think about its impact on the environment

4. Activities

Activity 1: My ideal house
Activity 2: My family’s ideal house
Activity 3: Mouse’s winter home
Activity 4: How do I build my ideal house
Activity 5: My ideal house revisited

 Activity 1: My ideal house


Using a blank piece of A4 or A3 paper draw a picture of your ideal house.

The picture needs to be a cross-section, this means you need to draw the house from the side, with no outside wall, so the picture shows the inside of your house.

How many rooms will your house have?

What will be in these rooms?

Label the rooms and the content.

Would your ideal house have a garden?

How many floors will your house have?

Look at the person next to you, what does their house look like? Is it the same as yours, does it have the same number and type of rooms? Why are the houses different?

 Activity 2: My family’s ideal house

This quest focuses on your family’s ideal house, you are going to survey your family members to find out what they would like in their ideal house.


Part 1:

First you need to design your questionnaire sheet.

Think about what questions you would need to ask to find out about your family’s ideal house.

How many people are in your family?

You need to make sure you have enough space for their answers.

Do you think that everybody in your family would be able to have everything they want? Add in a space on your questionnaire sheet to write down any problems you come across.

You can use this Family Survey to give you ideas on how to lay out your questionnaire.

Survey your family and complete your questionnaire.  Bring the questionnaire back to school and be prepared to discuss the results with the rest of the class.

Part 2:

As a class you will discuss the ideal home, referring to the answers from your questionnaires.

 Activity 3: Mouse’s Winter Home

You will investigate what materials are best for insulation, understand why certain materials can insulate and how this relates to buildings and our homes.


Part 1:

Work in a small group of 3 or 4.

Think about what happens to the temperature in winter and investigate how different animals cope with this.  Here are some ideas click here, here or here


Print a Make a mouse worksheet or open the worksheet so that you can copy the picture onto a blank piece of paper.

Print the A Mouse’s Winter Home question sheet or copy the questions onto a piece of paper.

Colour in your mouse and follow the instructions on the ‘Make a mouse’ sheet and build your mouse.  Your teacher will provide you with the plastic cup – stick the cup to the mouse where indicated.

Your mouse is now ready to take outside – wait for your teacher’s instructions.

You will need the A Mouse’s Winter Home question sheet to record your answers.

Part 2:

In your class discuss the differences in the mouse’s temperature related to where the mice were placed to hibernate. 

What materials were used? Why?

Which materials were the most insulating? Why?

Is it important to insulate our homes? Why?

Investigate how we can we insulate our homes and what materials do we use

Energy saving trust
Earth times

 Activity 4: How do I build my ideal house

Consider the options for building a new house.  How will you supply the energy for your new home and what building materials will you use? Each choice you make has a consequence on your budget and on how sustainable the house is. 


Work in a small group of 2 or 3.

The aim of the game is to build an imaginary house, within budget, which is as sustainable as possible.

First watch the video about sustainability and sustainable building practices then follow the instructions to begin the game.

Open Mysusthouse and choose the building game.

You can also play the game using the following worksheets:

Print or open and type into the My Sustainable House worksheet .

At each stage you will need to write in the building stage; what was bought (following the information cards), how much was spent and then calculate the amount of money you have left.  Remember to write the sustainability score into the final column.

Open the My Sustainable House Information Cards

After each building stage (flooring, walls, windows, insulation, roof, heating and heat and water) discuss the information, make a decision and calculate your scores.

Did you come across any problems? What were they?

Could you build you house again with a higher sustainability score but still stay in budget?

 Activity 5: My ideal house revisited

Look at your drawing of your ideal house from the Activity 1.

Would you make any change?

How could you make it more sustainable?

Investigate some house designs of the future to see how these compare with your ideal house.  Look here and what about this?

5. Reflection

Write down three things you have learnt about what houses will look like in the future.

Write down two things you would like to find out more about.

Choose one of these things, how could you find out more about it?

Buildings and Grounds learing wall

6. Conclusion

During this webquest you have thought about what houses in the future may be like. You have investigated what is necessary in housing and how houses can be built sustainably.

7. Teacher notes

Age: 8 - 12


Activity 1: My ideal house (20 minutes)
Activity 2: My family’s ideal house (20 minutes plus homework)
Activity 3: Mouse’s winter home (Part 1: 25 minutes / Part 2: 10 minutes)
Activity 4: How do I build my ideal house (45 minutes)
Activity 5: My ideal house revisited (15 minutes)

Curriculum / Subject (cross-curricular links):

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the quest all students will:
Represent what they consider to be their ideal house
Have considered what their family’s ideal house would be and considered how they might best be able to meet everyone’s expectations or be able to suggest compromises.
Understand why insulation is important and investigated the materials that are best for insulation.
Understand the pros and cons of different building options, working within a budget and considering the sustainability of their choices.
Use the knowledge they have gained in the webquest to rethink their original ideal house diagram.

Supporting Information

Teacher assesment framework


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